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Studies Blogs

Advanced and/or academic Pagan subjects such as history, ethics, sociology, etc.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Meditations on Hávamál, 35-39

Ganga skal,
skal-a gestr vera
ey í einum stað;
ljúfr verðr leiðr,
ef lengi sitr
annars fletjum á.

Go shall the guest
and not stay long in one place;
the loved one becomes loathed
if he sits too long

on another's bench.

The important thing about hospitality -- that measure of a man or a woman and their home -- is the assumption that such largesse will not be taxed or taken for granted. Long visits were a big part of the wealthy in Iceland, but they had to be planned for and stocks set by. Unexpected guests were given good welcome, but part of the unspoken agreement is that a visitor would know when to move on.

Bú er betra,
þótt lítit sé,
halr er heima hverr;
þótt tvær geitr eigi
ok taugreftan sal,
þat er þó betra en bæn.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Wendall Mountain Runner
    Wendall Mountain Runner says #
    Happy your more recent post led me read your backlog.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    I'm delighted to hear it!
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Beautifully rendered. I believe that it's hospitality that is the common denominator in world religion and world culture.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

In the fall of 1970 my first wife and I moved lock, stock and barrel from Lake Ann, Michigan to Stratford Ontario, Canada - with the single-minded intention of living there so we could audition to become Company members of the Canadian Shakespeare Festival. 

I was 23. She was only 19. We had no money, and no jobs waiting for us. She could live legally in Canada as a British subject, but I was an American citizen and would have to get permission for residency. 

It was an insane idea - a delusion - an impossible quest. No mature person would have considered such an unprepared move. No recent graduate of any drama school had ever attempted it; there were only two places where every aspiring actor went after graduation: New York or Los Angeles. 

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  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus says #
    I think there's much truth to what you've said here, Ted. Lady GaGa, herself only 27 at present, had a meteoric rise to fame hers
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    You are absolutely right, P. - and thank you for the adroitly-phrased history lesson! I meant to indicate what repressed Puritans
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ted, This is so very, very, true. Many of us have such raw physical vitality and boundless enthusiasm, in those years. The same y

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Literacy of Magic Pt 1

Recently Ivo Dominguez Jr published a thought provoking article where he discussed the lack of the literacy in magic in today's Pagans. While I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of what he had to say (I've observed in the past that there is an increasing amount of emphasis on removing magic from Paganism because it makes Paganism less acceptable to the mainstream*), I also found his use of the word literacy problematic, and by extension it caused me to re-examine his article and some of my agreement with the article in a different light. As a result, I think it worthwhile to examine the concept of the literacy of magic, both in relationship to the word literacy and its variety of meanings, and also in context to the practice of magic vs the "literacy" of magic, which I'll argue are not one and the same (in part 2 of this series). In fact, part of the issue I have with the use of the word literacy is that conjures up the armchair magician, a person has read a lot of books on magic, but has done little, if anything, with that magical knowledge. I would locate the armchair magician on the opposite end of the illiterate Pagan (at least as that illiteracy applies to magic). However, as we'll see, it's simplistic to categorize anyone as literate or illiterate, because literacy itself is a loaded term.

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  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Just as a clarification, I did not say that the Western Magickal Tradition was the only source for trusted systems, only that it w
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Hi Ivo, Thanks for the clarification. I really appreciate that you've written that post, because it's gotten some much needed con
  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    I would hazard a guess that it is because we are talking about different kinds of magic. To take a simplified approach, you can d

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I do not claim to have invented the following concepts. As the saying goes, I stand on the shoulders of giants. But at least I'm bright enough to recognize when a teaching makes sense; and I feel privileged to pass these on to others. 

In my essay We Are All Spell Casters (May 2013 Witches&Pagans Newsletter), I presented the thesis that everyone who engages in intercessory prayer - be they churchgoers, coven members, healing circles, meditators or obsessive-compulsives - all share the same goal: to persuade Nature (or the God of Nature) to do what they want. 

Nature can resolve similar situations in different ways. Sometimes we like the resolution, as when cancer goes into remission or a dangerous surgery is successful. But we hate it when it goes the other way. 

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    These days the biggest difference between magic and science is that practitioners of magic have not sold out to corrupt politician
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Good commentary, Greybeard. I appreciate how you express this insight.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ted, This is why I keep an agalma of Hermes right in front of the shifter inside my 17-year old car. I pray to Him when the gas i

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I told you all in my previous article on wands that they were my favorite tool, and I wasn't kidding.  I've always loved the idea of waving a wand and casting a spell.  I used to carry around wands, staves, and rods as a kid- some made of driftwood, some more ornate deals of crystal and metal.  It helps having a mother who was a sci-fi fan and also essentially pagan, when one is secretly training to become a first-class sorcerer and witch.  That was my ambition as a child, and honestly I'm rather happy with how things turned out.

But I digress- the point is, I've had wands of all shapes and sizes since I was very young.  And one thing always used to drive me crazy about them.

There wasn't ever an instruction manual on how to use them!

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